Ships Cats


Lantern Swinger
I see that there is a a display of photos about ships cats on the Belfast. Not been on a ship or boat with a cat but do recall that one submarine had a monkey while in Hong Kong. Also the 4th Submarine Squadron had their dog, a black Lab (Nigger) at HMAS Penguin. The submariners based in South Africa also had a dog.


War Hero
On REPULSE we had a snake , we he died we buried he at sea . He was put on one of the foreplanes and the coxn put on 15 degs so he rolled off into the sea at Faslane .


RFA Sir Bedivere 2002 - a rather mangy black cat got on board in Bahrain, made itself at home under the chacons on the upper deck, of course it didn't help that everyone was feeding it. Went to sea with the ship, visited the UAE and I believe ended up back in Bahrain less mangy, fatter and cleaner than when it left !

"Old buntings never die, they just get hauled down and stowed away"
I have aways been intrigued by the story of "Simon", ships cat for HMS Amethyst who won the Dickin medal for bravery on the Yangzi.
Any Tars on this site who served with him?

ok ok I'll get me coat!
And just a bit more about ships cats, I have just watched the program on BBC1 tonight where they found the resting place of the old Ark in the med, and took a handful of veterans back to see it on underwater surveillance cameras.
Apparently both ships cats (Oscar & Harry) were saved.


Lantern Swinger
Apart from the parrot, are there any current ship's pets in the Fleet? It would be great to have more of them - is it still possible to have dogs and cats? I don't know how much cats would like the engine noises and gunnery practice, but they could probably handle the companionways better than dogs.


The Royal Navy Training Team in Iraq on Telic 4, together with the Boat Troop RE rescued from the Royal Horse Artillery a bitch puppy. The engineers built her a kennel and we all took it in turns to feed, play and walk her. In fact most of my post for the second half of my tour was food and toys for the dog!!! In the end she wouldn't touch the dog food as she was used to cookhouse food.
The bitter blow was that the Brigade commander at the end of the tour ordered all base dogs with the exception of those whpo had got repreives for being in the papers, should be destroyed or abandoned.
We tried to get her jabbed up by local vets but to no avail. We couldn't shoot her, so reluctantly the RE took her to Basra Palace to "set her free". I have never seen grown men so distressed before. The Bde commander obviously destroyed so much morale with that order. For a picture of "Doggers" see the gallery.


Ref: the earlier comment about the Ark - our (unofficial) Wardroom mascot is my black cat, also called Oscar. It would therefore seem he comes from a long line of ships cats bearing the name "Oscar".....


Lantern Swinger
When I was at PJHQ we used to run a sweepstake on how long it would be before an Army unit 'adopted ' a dog

I think the record was a week

Then the fun was how much hassle the dog would generate when the unit returned to the UK

The OT leaders used to say they spent more time on that than any other issue


Lantern Swinger
Chunky_Monkey said:
Ref: the earlier comment about the Ark - our (unofficial) Wardroom mascot is my black cat, also called Oscar. It would therefore seem he comes from a long line of ships cats bearing the name "Oscar".....
Of course in the Andrew, Flag Oscar indicates man [cat?] overboard - some connection?


No, not really any connection (although his nickname is "aquacat" as he likes the rain - odd for a cat). It was only after I named him that I remembered the name has other meanings. I have no plans for another cat called "papa" or "november".....


There were the dogs that were assigned to Northern Ireland Sqn that were carried onboard. They replaced the Alsatians with Springer Spaniels as they're lighter to hoist up the side of a merchant ship.

I met a retired Captain recently who's unofficial dog in his minesweeper got a medal for rescuing the official ships's dog when the ship went aground and capsized. Apparently they had an official ship's cat as well.


War Hero
Still finding me way around the site so just found this spot. Although it's about cats this is one about a monkey.Tthe monkey joined the boat before I did and he was on the Alderney running from 'Derry in the mid '50s.Cant remember his name for sure may have been Clem. Story goes the boat did a refit or maintenance in Guzz and the skipper suggested the purchase of a monkey out of the welfare money. Although the crew said negative he got it anyway. Had his own bell bottoms( the monkey) and loved a run ashore in 'Derry could sink a drop 'o Porter too. Always on the bridge with the yeoman for leaving and entering harbour
used to swing through the boat with ease. He was a real swinger too but sadly, after I left the boat, he hit the open switchboard and died. Yeah with the new navy difficult to imagine ship's mascots or pets now, :(
Loch Killisport circa 1963 gained a puppy in HK which became the official ships dog. Lived in the forward watch keepers mess and could have only one name, "Dog Watches" Ships Book Number HK1.

There used (circa 1974) to be an RN manned TRV in Gib that had a dog. At Harbour Station the dog came up on deck and checked the discharges from each of the engines as they were started reporting to the bridge with one bark for Stbd and 2 for Port. It then went to the stern and barked when the last stern line was clear of the water before rushing to the bow to do the same.


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